I’m not a big one for endorsing products: before I can actually bring myself to encourage others to spend money on a product, I have to really believe that something is morally good for the world rather than just “convenient” or “tasty” or “pretty”. It’s one of the reasons I have difficulty with the concept of “likes” on FaceBook. If I’m going to put my name behind something (and names are very important to me) I’ve got to believe in it.

But this would be one of those products: or at least one of those concepts. I first discovered “SodaStream” at two friends’ house when one of them asked if we wanted something to drink. I don’t think they had any “pop” (the Canadian term: “soda” for our Southern neighbours) but they had carbonated water. This confused me, so I asked: and she showed me her carbonating object. She explained that she had gotten it in her previous home, in Israel (one of benefits of living in such a cross-cultural city as Toronto is the continual input of ideas from around the world). We instantly fell in love. Tim had all kinds of ideas about things we could carbonate, and bring the ol’ pop budget way down. It would also help us to use less plastic, regarding those evil two-litre bottles. The only problem: I wasn’t going to Israel to get one.

So I was doing my Christmas shopping a few weeks ago: I was not late, but I wasn’t early either. I walked into one of those ubiquitous kitchen stores: and there it was. On sale, too. I snapped it up… so fast that I didn’t even bother to figure out if they had CO2 cannisters available. I just knew I wanted one. Oops, no. I mean Tim wanted one. Really.

Tim opened it Christmas morning, and he was as thrilled as I was. And since then we’ve shifted away from our pop gluttony. It’s amazing the things you can mix with carbonated water. (We quickly discovered that you shouldn’t really carbonate flavoured drinks. You add carbonated water to concentrated syrup. So you can, for instance, reconstitute concentrated juices with carbonated water. It’s great.) As I’ve grown older, I’ve also discovered that either my tastes are more sensitive or I really prefer weaker drinks: so I’ve started cutting Mountain Due and Doctor Pepper with straight carbonated water. And tonight I even just had carbonated water straight.

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